Few artists define an age as thoroughly as John Held Jr. defines the "Roaring Twenties." Born in 1889, he was the right age at the right time with an outlook and sense of humor that shaped as well as recorded a generation.
Another child prodigy, as it seems..., Held supposedly sold his first drawing at 9. It's certain that he sold his first drawing to the original Life magazine at 15 and was hired as the sports cartoonist for the Salt Lake City Tribune when he was 16....

Held could do no wrong. People would send him blank checks begging for...

He lost a lot of money in a...

John Held Jr. (Jan. 10, 1889 – March 2, 1958); American cartoonist, printmaker, illustrator, and author. One of the best-known magazine illustrators of the 1920s, Held created cheerful art showing his characters dancing, motoring and engaging in fun-filled activities. The drawings depicted the flapper era in a way that both satirized and influenced the styles and mores of the time, and his images have continued to define the jazz age for subsequent generations. He also produced linocuts that depicted a Victorian era that was dark with violence and abuse.

Born in Salt Lake City...

...in 1905 he began working as a sports illustrator and cartoonist at the SLC Tribune. While at the Tribune, he obtained his only formal art instruction with sculptor Mahonri M. Young, grandson of Brigham Young. In 1910 Held married Myrtle Jennings, the Tribune's society editor. In 1912 he relocated to New York, and found a job as a graphic designer for an advertising company.

In 1915 Vanity Fair began publishing his drawings, which he signed "Myrtle Held". During WW I he worked for US Naval Intelligence in Central America as an artist and cartographer.

He illustrated many covers for Life during the 1920s, and contributed illustrations for other magazines .... His work, which quickly became popular, defined the...
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Suzan Hamer


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